Are you disappointed with the audio levels you recorded? Trouble raising the levels?

Try enhancing your weak audio track in your edit program. Let’s assume you’re using iMovie, for illustration purposes. Expand your audio tracks by adding two new tracks under the existing track. Then copy the original down to the two new tracks below. Make sure the three tracks are synced to begin together.

This won’t boost the original level dramatically, but it will raise it to some degree. It will also add depth to the track.

Most or all of your basic edit programs will allow you to do this. Even if the audio levels are adequate, try it just to add dimension to your vocals.


Adobe After Effects users will enjoy these tutorials. Check out the Digital Animators site for resources and trends in digital animation. Click on “Tutorials” where you’ll see topics such as: colorizing black and white objects; slowing down and speeding up video; luminance (brightness) correction; trimming video; and trimming layers.


Opening titles on any digital movie worth its weight hook the viewers. Titles may be simple – text over film – or graphically separate from the film itself.

Try applying scrapbook design to your title pages and opening credits. You almost certainly can find someone in your life who produces scrapbook pages – you yourself, a young teen, your friend’s mom, a church club. Recruit that person to create one or several pages that you can tape or photograph for your movie’s opening.


Leave edit room when you tape. Let’s say you’re taping an interview for a documentary. Start your camera rolling four or five seconds before you cue the interviewee to begin speaking. Do the same when the interview is over. Let the camera roll for another four to five seconds.

This edit room allows you to cut a clip without losing part of the audio or picture.

TRANSITIONS: The Grammar of Film

Transitions help set the pace for your digital movie. You already know how punctuation works in your writing. A comma represents a brief pause. A period concludes a sentence.

A new paragraph starts a new thought.

Film transitions have their own grammar that works in much the same way. A simple cut is like a period between clips. This is the most common transition in a movie.

You start a new thought with a dissolve, the equivalent of a new paragraph. Fade-in from black and fade-out to black will typically begin and end your movie.

This will help you set effective pacing for your film.


When you have all your digital movie clips in your software program’s bin, ready to edit, take care not to lose the clips as you proceed.

Some edit software programs are “non-destructive”. The original clips remain no matter what editing you do. Others, such as iMovie, are “destructive”. This simply means that you will lose your original clips as you cut and shape your movie.

If your program is the destructive type, copy the clips down to your timeline instead of just dragging them down. You then have the option of going back to re-edit if you’re not pleased with the results. Of course, you could re-import the tape if necessary, but this would keep you moving without stopping to reconnect your camera to your computer.